Take a listen on your commute home via bus, train, subway, etc. Or, the next time of stepping out into the city street, pause to listen close. Sometimes, the noises we hear are natural and relatively benign, such as a car whooshing past, or the sound of a person walking alongside of you, the gentle rustling of leaves, birds chirruping, or a train click clacking over tracks in arrival.
More frequently, the noise(s) are growing more substantial and grating. This can include sounds such as (though not limited to): horns blaring, the melody (or more often, jarring vibrations) of entitled people who, nowadays and often, have decided that because they want to hear a particular song or type of music, we all do. Thus, blasting it from their phones or even portable speakers as they walk down the road past or even worse, sit/stand next to us on the train. More nagging noises can include cell phones dinging, producing all manner of loud sounds while people play games or text, all of which is audible and even disturbing. As well as those colleagues who sit near to you and play their personal radios aloud, all day long.
Noise, to a real degree, is an inescapable aspect of life, especially within city living. However, sometimes these are normal, relatively ignorable sounds. Just as frequently though, they are the actions of others imposing their noise and ultimately, their narrative, on us. All whether we like it or not.
Continue reading “Our increase in noise pollution, and why this is a problem.”
We live in a culture of FOMO. Frequently cramming schedules to overflowing, whether said appointments truly nourish and fulfill us or not, because busyness feels important. Being busy can lend one a sense of feeling worthy.
On a slightly separate though similar thought, rarely is one ever truly alone. Our lives are those in which everywhere and anywhere we go, we are continually surrounded by others. At home, with our family, roommates, friends, or romantic partner. On the bus or train, crowded by people. At work, a continued clustering of others, ever around us. Potentially spending a significant portion of our day on the phone, or communicating and navigating interactions with others in all manner of other modes (whether email, social media, texting, etc). The majority of our time is spent in communication with and around other people.
Anywhere we might go, even if deciding to enjoy such on our own (without bringing along a companion), is still overflowing with others. Whether the library, a restaurant or café, out on a walk, to the park or gym, there will be a plethora of other people abound.
For a significant number of people throughout our culture, aloneness is associated with being a “loser.” As though if one chooses their own company, it must be because there is simply no alternative. That this could never possibly be a preferable choice if one had a truly fulfilled and awesome life. As if ever being surrounded by others is the only ideal, normal, and best way of being. Many people feel depressed at such a thought (as spending time with oneself), distressed, or even afraid to be alone with themselves. As though this indicates a deficit or lacking in us somehow.
Continue reading “One is Company”